Food Adventures in DC and NYC
Kitchen Monkey has returned! A few pounds heavier and many many dollars poorer! Let's have some highlights of the trip's many dining experiences.
Thanksgiving: A delicious, traditional Thanksgiving dinner prepared by Kelly's coworker Erin and her aunt & uncle. If Erin wants to post her very tasty poppyseed dressing/strawberry salad recipe, she should do so!
Birthday dinner: I made a jumbo shrimp scampi for my sister Kelly that will be documented in the next post. Keep yer eyes open.
Sushi: We took the Chinatown bus to NYC and ate at West Side Sushi in Midtown Manhattan. Not the best sushi I've had, but not bad either.
Ramen!!!!!!! For me this was the dining pinnacle of the trip. I had read about a ramen shop in the NY Times: a small, out of the way joint in the East Village called Minca. If you already know how I feel about good ramen, you'll understand how much I enjoyed what you see in the picture above. Usually the pictures I post on this website are of food prepared by myself and friends--but I had to make an exception here. The pork slices were so tender that they almost dissolved on the tongue. The seaweed had more flavor than any I'd tasted before. The shitake mushrooms had a wonderful smoky flavor, and the noodles were perfect, a nice bite and good flavor. I lost all sense of time and place while slurping the broth, which was almost a meal in itself. The price was out of sight too: $8.50!
You should sit at the bar, so that you can watch the chefs prepare the ramen. After we had finished, Kelly and I watched in gluttonous awe as the head cook hoisted, one at a time, four enormous and beautiful pork loins from a dark steaming broth where they had been simmering. They looked and smelled so good we were transfixed, and only after a couple minutes did we notice the cooks and the waitress smiling and laughing at us (good-naturedly). I'm quite certain they see that particular hypnotic stare on a regular basis.
Korean BBQ and karaoke: For Sunday dinner my friend Ian took us to a Korean/Japanese place in "Korea Town" called Wondo. I had Korean BBQ'ed beef, with lots of accoutrements. Dear lord do I love me some kimchi! We washed the grub down with Korean vodka, which has a strength and taste somewhere between vodka and sake.
After dinner we went to a dive karaoke bar in Chinatown called Winnie's. Kitchen Monkey sang Neil Diamond's Love on the Rocks, but Ian brought the house down with a fiery rendition of Lionel Richie's All Night Long. Below, witness Ian and my sister doing a rendition of Pump Up the Jams. Does it get any funkier than this? Yes, but not in Chinatown on a Sunday night.
Too much injera: Back in DC we ate at a great Ethiopian joint called Addis Abbaba. An enormous spread of lamb, chicken, and veggies all scooped up with a sponge bread called injera. Despite a warning about the expanding properties of injera, I ate a lot and paid for it with more than my American Express.
Yes, we were struck by the irony of stuffing ourselves silly at an Ethiopian restaurant, and yes, the guilt of living in an overindulging country does settle on me on a somewhat regular basis. Make up for being an overconsuming American by giving to Amnesty International, USA for UNHCR, and UNICEF. Great organizations doing hard work.
I promised early on to make this blog free of politics, and for the most part it will be. But there is a real difference between a partisan diatribe and a simple reminder that we are damned lucky to be able to enjoy the food we're eating, and that there are millions of people who do not have our luck. So forgive this quick stepping onto the soapbox. Check out the sites for the organizations I mentioned or others like them, see what's going on, see what you can do. We owe it to each other. That's all.
Posted by Kitchen Monkey at 2:17 PM